How to Keep Your Trademark in Good Standing

How to Keep Your Trademark in Good Standing
 

Congrats! You're the proud owner of a trademark!

You made a smart decision to own your brand.

You don’t have to worry about copycats or rebrands.

But you do have to keep your trademark in good standing.

Here’s what you need to know…

 

1. Add a Trademark Symbol

You need to add the ® symbol to the upper right corner of your mark.

This lets the world know that your brand is protected.

It also makes it easier to show someone copied you with a similar brand.

You’ll want to add the symbol to the mark on your website and social media.

2. Use it Continuously + Consistently

You'll need to continue using the brand in the exact same way as the trademark. That means the same exact words, spacing, and punctuation.

You’ll also need to use it on the same products or services.

Any alteration in how you're using the brand could hurt your trademark rights.

3. Run Copycat Checks

As a trademark owner, you need to find and stop copycats.

Otherwise, you’ll lose your trademark.

You'll need to run searches for similar brands selling similar products or services.

The best way to do this is with annual trademark monitoring. It will let you know when anyone with a similar brand pops up. Most people do it quarterly or yearly.

You can also put a Google Alert on your brand. It’s a helpful and free option, but it will only tell you the brands that match exactly what you’ve listed on the alert. So you may miss some similar brands this way.

If you do see a similar brand, you’ll want to send a Trademark Cease + Desist.

Read More: Exactly What to Do When Someone Copies Your Brand

4. Renew on Time

@ 5 years

You may want to file a Declaration of Incontestability.

This states that your brand is strong and the only one like it.

It makes it harder for people to challenge your trademark.

 

@ 6 years

You'll need to file a Declaration of Use.

This states that you're using the mark continuously and consistently.

You’ll need to do this to continue your trademark rights.

 

@ 10 years

You'll need to file a Declaration of Use.

Again, this states that you’re using the mark continuously and consistently.

You'll also need to file a Renewal.

This is required to continue using your trademark.

 

@ Every 10 Years

You'll need to file a Declaration of Use.

You'll also need to file a Renewal.

 

 

Download the Cease + Desist Template

Trademark Cease + Desist Template

Trademark Cease+ Desist Template

How it Protects Your Business:

You’ll outline your legal rights with the trademark

You’ll demand that copycats rebrand or face legal action

You’ll ensure that you are the only one who can use your brand

Nicole SwartzTrademark